You Could Be Eligible for Free Dental Work and Cleaning  

Been a while since you took care of your teeth? Sign up for a no-charge screening.

“Free stuff” usually means a T-shirt, a coupon, or maybe a sandwich. But how about hundreds of dollars’ worth of free dental care?

That’s what UMKC dental and dental hygiene students are offering, starting with no-charge screenings to see whether patients qualify for further free care.

And what’s in it for the students? The work they do will be part of the testing they must pass to be certified as dentists or dental hygienists.

Fred Drummond, a fourth-year dental student, explained: “On Feb. 15, we are having a screening and taking X-rays to see if patients qualify for free dental care that we can use for our board exams. It is also a great way to take the first steps in becoming a patient at UMKC School of Dentistry. We are looking for individuals that need deep cleanings and may need small cavities filled.” 

“This will help us graduate, but we also want to reach out and provide free treatment and dental screenings to community members who otherwise wouldn’t have dental treatment.”
– Nuvia Lemus Diaz

One of Drummond’s classmates, Nuvia Lemus-Diaz, added, “This will help us graduate, but we also want to reach out and provide free treatment and dental screenings to community members who otherwise wouldn’t have dental treatment.”

Besides the Feb. 15 event, dental hygiene students are offering free screenings by appointment, Tuesday through Friday each week through March. Those screenings also will include X-rays and could qualify patients for a free deep cleaning of their gums.

“Any of the free work the dental and dental hygiene students will do for their exams will be procedures we have done before, dozens of times, over almost two years of caring for patients.”
– Jessica Ray

“We have to do a deep cleaning as part of our exam,” said Jessica Ray, a second-year dental hygiene student. “We have to do a super job, too, because we have multiple people monitoring us and checking our work.”

Ray added, “Any of the free work the dental and dental hygiene students will do for their exams will be procedures we have done before, dozens of times, over almost two years of caring for patients. We also will follow up on our patients and make sure they are doing well.”

She also noted that because all of the screenings will include X-rays – whether by dental students on Feb. 15 or dental hygiene students throughout February and March – patients will get the care they need regardless of which screening they have.

“If we’re looking for deep-cleaning patients but they have cavities, for example, we’ll let the dental students know,” she said.

Faculty member Christina Baker, R.D.H., B.S.D.H. ’03, M.Ed., affirmed that people who sign up for the screenings can expect top-notch care. Baker, an assistant clinical professor, said students are always well supervised and trained to take the time needed to give excellent care.

For those interested in the screenings, here’s more information:

Prospective patients for the dentistry students must be in good general health and have at least 16 teeth, including some molars. Those interested can call 816-200-7381 for more information, and leave a message to schedule a screening appointment on Feb. 15. For those who qualify, free cavity restorations can be performed as part of the dental students’ testing March 27-29.

The dental hygiene students also have their exams on those dates. They are looking for patients 18 and older who have not had a dental cleaning in the past two years, don’t wear braces and don’t need immediate care such as a tooth extraction. Screenings for those cleanings are available by calling 816-701-9625 or emailing dh2020screening@gmail.com.

 

Published: Feb 4, 2020

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